SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa based fast–food chains operator, Spur Corporation has named Val Nichas as the new executive director and group Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 January 2021.

Val will be taking over from the company’s long-serving CEO, Pierre van Tonder, who will be retiring from the group on 31 December 2020 after 38 years’ service.

“I have no doubt that these strategic changes will position Spur Corp extremely well for the future and I am really happy to be able to pass on the leadership of the group in January to someone of Val’s talent and experience.”

Outgoing Spur CEO – Pierre van Tonder

An experienced strategist, Val has extensive experience in the restaurant sector and was formerly managing executive of Quick Service Restaurants brands at Famous Brands, responsible for a portfolio of franchised brands with over 600 restaurants across Steers, Fishaways and Giramundo.

Starting her career in marketing and advertising, she has served at different capacities in different companies such has Edgars, Rich Products Corporation, Tequila Advertising and Nando’s Chickenland.

Val has run her own consulting business for the past eight years, specialising in business strategy and planning.

Chairman of the Spur Corporation, Mike Bosman said, “Val has a proven track record in managing a variety of big restaurant brands, backed by extensive experience in strategy in the corporate and consulting sectors.

“She is an excellent and well-respected leader who has a thorough understanding of the franchise restaurant industry and the board is confident that she has the credentials to lead the group as our industry and economy face a challenging future.”

A further change to the executive leadership team is the appointment of Cristina Teixeira as group Chief Financial Officer and as an executive director with effect from 1 February 2021.

A Chartered Accountant, Cristina has 12 years’ experience as a CFO in listed companies and was voted Businesswoman of the Year (corporate category) by the Businesswomen’s Association of SA in 2013.

Some of the companies she has worked with include Group Five and Consolidated Infrastructure Group.

“We are also pleased to appoint Cristina as our new CFO and believe that her experience in CFO roles in the listed environment will be very beneficial for the group.

“She has demonstrated her ability to lead finance teams in large organisations and is committed to the highest standards of financial reporting, disclosure and governance,” said Bosman.

Cristina will replace current CFO, Phillip Matthee who has requested to step down from this position to take up a senior position in the finance department. He will assume the role of Commercial Accounting Executive.

Commenting on her appointment, Val said, “I am humbled that the board has entrusted me with leading Spur Corporation into its quantum growth phase. I am also pleased that Cristina will join me as CFO at this great organisation.

“We pay tribute to Pierre and the team who have established this impressive portfolio of great South African brands. Leveraging on this, we will collaborate with our people, franchise partners and suppliers to innovate and invigorate our brands into even more compelling and memorable dining experiences for our customers.”

Appointment to the board

To strengthen its board, Spur has also announced the appointment of Kevin Robertson, Graeme Kiewitz (group Human Resources Executive) and Sacha du Plessis (Chief Marketing Officer) as executive directors of Spur Corporation with effect from 15 October 2020.

Kevin will be appointed as group Chief Operations Officer with effect from 15 October 2020, with responsibility for the operations of the Spur Corporation’s 631 restaurants.

The board further announced the appointments of Jesmane Boggenpoel, Lerato Molebatsi, André Parker and Sandile Phillip as independent non-executive directors with effect from 15 October 2020.

The group’s Corporate Communications and Transformation Manager, Moshe Apleni has been appointed as the Chairman of the Spur Foundation Trust.

“We have increased the non-executive component of our board to strengthen our board committees and to enhance governance oversight in support of the new management team,” said Bosman.

He added, “The appointments of the additional executive directors to the board acknowledge the group’s strategic focus on human and intellectual capital, and operating efficiency, which we believe will be three of the key drivers of growth as we adapt to operating with our franchisees in the changing consumer environment post Covid-19.”

The outgoing CEO commenting on the moves stated, “I have no doubt that these strategic changes will position Spur Corp extremely well for the future and I am really happy to be able to pass on the leadership of the group in January to someone of Val’s talent and experience.

“She will be well supported by the enormous depth of experience that we have built up in all of the key parts of our business.”

Pierre has been MD and CEO of the Spur group for 24 years and under his leadership the business grew from 40 restaurants to over 640 restaurants in South Africa and internationally.

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